The seven deadly sins are fascinating in my eyes. Each reflects a part of human nature that is identifiable in a negative fashion. To grasp the meaning behind the short collection of works, one must understand the context and nature of these sins; such that the following sins can be understood easily.
Anger. - Linked with the bear and the colour red.
Sloth. - Linked with the goat and the colour light blue.
Envy. - Linked with the dog and the colour green.
Pride. - Linked with the horse and the colour violet.
Gluttony. Linked with the pig and the colour orange.
Avarice. - Linked with the frog and the colour yellow.
Lust. - Linked with the cow and the colour blue.
Though technically, do you really care about my notes? I have a sinking suspicion that you don't really. Which is fine by me, I'm glad that you've even found this remotely interesting and worth your time. So for that I am grateful.
Oh yes. I must say, you must be ready for this wondrous angst trip… because as it seems, it's the only thing I can write that sounds remotely… good. All of these stories are set in (mostly) different settings. I just hope you can figure out which is which, because I'm not going to tell you. Yes I am that mean.
Before, I had originally intended to release this fanfiction on Atobe's birthday (4th October). But as it is, it ISN'T Atobe's Birthday anymore. Better late than never right?
I, a mere fanfiction writer (who I must add, cannot write), in no way own the boys that have been mentioned in this piece of text. Purely fictional to satiate the little monster inside of me… and everyone else that likes Tenipuri and the Tango Pair. They belong to Takeshi Konomi, and well… I'm jealous… wish I could draw like him… anyway, I wouldn't be sitting around WRITING really if I owned them… if you catch my drift. Seigaku really should lose. Who really cares about TENNIS anyway. We're in it for the sexy young boys anyway.
Thanks to Kira for being the most wonderful beta
The day couldn't begin any better. The sun shone brightly into his eyes as he rose from the clutching hands of sleep. Bed tousled hair and an exposed muscular chest, Sanada Genichirou looked at the man that slept so peacefully next to him. He ran a loving hand through the soft locks and then slipped smoothly out of the futon. He knew Atobe Keigo wasn't the type to be waking up with the sun – his spoiled nature as a child reflected in his sleeping habits.
After cleaning up and relieving himself, Sanada pulled on a navy blue hakama1 and proceeded to the dojo. Sanada cleared his mind of thoughts and worries of the upcoming war as he slipped into a meditative state. He focussed on his breathing and slowly succumbed to the gentle calm feeling inside of him that consumed his thoughts. His mind, however, couldn't keep strictly disciplined and Sanada found himself wondering about many different events that had occurred throughout the year; the pleasant and the bad.
One major change in life was having rescued Atobe from the evil clutches of Seigaku, where he was being used as a mediocre source of entertainment. The once proud man had become little less than a shell of the man he used to be. The earlier months had been hard on both Sanada and Atobe; one who didn't have the heart and the other missing a soul. Often, the younger man would refuse to eat, something niggling at his conscious and his eyes would glaze over. During these times, Atobe was weary and untrusting over everyone and everything. It took all of Sanada's restraint and patience to not forcefully feed the stubborn – yet broken- man.
The general of the great army was famous for being tolerant, if anything else. Through this patience, did Atobe slowly recover and became the arrogant man that Sanada had once known before the ill-timed imprisonment by Seigaku's Army. Atobe recovered his strength and arrogance within the year – much to the relief of Sanada and the rest of the Rikkai inner circle – and Atobe would happily order around Sanada as he chose, which the lenient general endured for his sake.
Frustrated with himself at his wondering mind Sanada got off tatami floor. He selected a bokken2 off the rack and began to move through his katas3. He shifted easily and fluidly from one to the next, each getting progressively harder and challenging. It was only a matter of time that his lover would notice the lack of warmth in the futon made for two and would come to seek him out in the dojo, as Atobe tended to do everyday.
An hour went past and a healthy sheen of sweat coated Sanada's skin. It was unusual that Atobe be absent. If Sanada could compare Atobe to an animal, it would have to be a limpet or a puppy; but he never dared to tell Atobe in fear of losing something else important to him.
The general sighed and frowned. His sixth sense was at ill ease and somehow he knew Atobe was in some form of trouble. Replacing the bokken carelessly onto the wooden rack on the wall, Sanada grabbed his katana4 that was propped against the dojo walls and strode quickly to his room.
There, he saw a scene that most displeased him. Atobe had been gagged – the outer layer of his attire had been removed, leaving the young man clad in only the cotton yukata he loved wearing to sleep. The sapphire haori5 lay in a pile, tossed carelessly to the side. It was the first thing Sanada had found Atobe asleep in when he had been away for a skirmish on the southern borders. When Sanada had asked him why he had taken the haori, Atobe merely smiled and said, "Because it reminded me of you, even when you're in the midst of battle somewhere. I can still feel your warmth and your scent upon the fabric."
Sanada felt his blood boil, and the bloodlust that he kept under careful constraints was unleashed. The worthless soldiers that surrounded him were shouting abuse at Atobe and some were starting to have that particular gleam in their eyes that appeared when men stepped into an unprotected house full of women.
His anger fuelled his need to protect Atobe, and within minutes, each and every underling had some form of wound upon his person – some getting off easy with a cut or two, others missing fingers having met the wrong end of Sanada's rage. His normally expressionless face was contorted into a mask of anger; something that had added to his repertoire of names.
The men ran out of the room at the sound of feet along the corridors, a look of pure fright on their face. Yukimura-ou6 and Yanagi-sama7 (the strategist of the Rikkai Army) appeared at the room. The situation quickly sunk into their minds and they knew any form of help from them wouldn't be of use. Atobe couldn't recognise them now that he was revisiting a nightmare; a look of pure mortification upon the man's features.
Sanada let his katana drop onto the floor, his body numb from the physical exertion his ire had required. Atobe's normally blue, playful eyes were glazed over, and when Sanada tried to approach him, he merely backed away more. The general felt his heart ache.
"Keigo?" Sanada said softly, his tone suddenly hoarse. He didn't move. "Keigo… please…" He offered a hand to his lover, his heart bracing itself to the flinch that was presumably coming. However, when he found himself with a weeping and clearly frightened man in his arms, Sanada knew whatever mirage Atobe had created in his mind was subdued enough for him to recognise him.
Nobody moved; each of the Rikkai born men focused his attention on Atobe. "Seiichi… Renji…" His two friends nodded and left the room, closing the shoji doors on their way out. Yanagi, with his famed quick thinking and intuition, created a cover story and with the emperor's authority, none was allowed into Sanada's resident wing of the palace.
Cradling his lover gently, Sanada lay on the floor, muscles unmoving. He breathed slowly, knowing the steady rise and fall of his chest would eventually lull his lover to sleep. Time slowed down and nothing else mattered in the world except for the beautiful man that lay on top of him.
Come night time, Atobe stirred from the comfortable position he was in. His normally bright blue eyes were glazed over by past activities. Atobe couldn't remember what had happened in the morning, but he dismissed the sense of foreboding that rose from the depths of his stomach. "Genichirou?" There wasn't a response from the man below him. Keigo thought that was strange and he slowly sat up before a hand rose to stop him.
"Don't… move," Sanada's normally calm voice was lined with pain, no matter how hard Sanada tried to hide it. Atobe placed a hand on his stomach in alarm and pulled it back when he noticed the flinch. Raising his hand to the moonlight, he noticed the glistening dark warm liquid on his fingertips.
Atobe hesitated. "How did this happen? Did I-" He didn't want to finish the sentence. In the moonlight, he could see the sheen of sweat that covered his lover. Sanada was breathing hard and he touched the back of his hand to his lover's forehead. Sanada had broken out into a high fever. "We must get you to Yagyuu-san. You're burning up! I'll go-"
But he was cut off. "I'm fine… It's just a scratch… Please don't leave me Keigo…" The pain that Sanada tried carefully to mask was evident and clearer in Atobe's mind. He could only begin to imagine the pain and the pure physical exertion Sanada had to use to try and seem normal.
"I don't want to lose you. Please, just let me get Yagyuu…" He didn't get a response. Atobe's heart nearly stopped. It couldn't be. Something like this couldn't happen to the great lord. It was preposterous to think that the demon king of Rikkai would die anywhere but the battlefield. Let alone for a man, a lover, who had come from a territory now riddled with ashes. Sanada deserved a heroic end, not some petty underhanded attack from lowly men.
He couldn't stop the tears rolling down his cheeks. "Genichirou…" He lowered himself gently back onto his lover's still warm chest, his ear above Sanada's heart; the heart that Sanada had willingly given to him. Atobe felt his insides churn, trying to hear the soft thump-thump that indicated any sign of life. "You can't do this to me, Genichirou…" Atobe whispered, gritting his teeth to stop the tears from flowing. Now wasn't the time to cry and be twitchy. He had to be strong for the both of them.
Atobe felt fear and utter loathing to the men that had treated him like filth. For hurting the only man that had ever turned to look his way with a gentle smile that was only reserved for him. They deserved nothing but death.
But he also felt anger towards himself for being so incapable of protecting Sanada, and he vowed whilst hovering over Yagyuu worriedly that he will become someone that Sanada could depend on. Even if that meant having to face the fears he had been running away from.
1 Japanese Style Pants
2 Bamboo Sword
4 Japanese Sword
5 Haori: Japanese Style Jacket
6 -ou: meaning of royalty
7 -sama: lord